Maybank Championship Preview, TV Times, Leaderboard, Highlights

The Paraguayan faces a field including 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson

Maybank Championship preview
Fabrizio Zanotti defends Maybank Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay defends the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia against a field that includes Major champion Henrik Stenson and Dubai winner Li Haotong.

Maybank Championship Preview, TV Times, Leaderboard, Highlights

After two weeks in the deserts of the Middle East, the European Tour heads for Asia this week and the Maybank Championship at the Saujana G&CC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti is the defending champion but he will face strong competition from an excellent field.

Following a tremendous final round of 63 in last year’s Maybank Championship, Fabrizio Zanotti claimed his second European Tour victory.

Carding an eagle on his 72nd hole, Zanotti did just enough to sneak past David Lipsky of the USA and win by a shot.

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The course for the Maybank Championship at Saujana G&CC is an undulating one lined by palm trees that opened for play back in 1986.

Scoring tends to be pretty good and Zanotti won last year with an impressive total of 19-under-par.

This will be only the third time this competition has been hosted although Saujana has been a regular stop on the circuit in the past.

The club has hosted the Malaysian Open on a number of occasions.

The 3rd hole at Saujana Golf and Country Club. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

In last year’s Maybank Championship, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger made European Tour history during his second round.

Wiesberger carded nine straight birdies from the 7th to the 15th holes. He was the first man on the circuit to achieve such a feat.

But it was Zanotti who eventually came out on top, overtaking a fading Danny Willett in round four.

Wiesberger will be back to play again this year and he’ll be joined by the likes of 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson, 2016 Masters winner Danny Willett and last week’s Dubai Desert Classic champion Li Haotong of China.

The weather forecast looks mixed with rain likely on the first two days of the tournament. Saturday and Sunday look set to be fair.

Venue: Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Date: Feb 1-4 Course stats: par 72, 7,186 yards Purse: $3,000,000 Defending champion: Fabrizio Zanotti (-19)

TV Coverage: Thursday 1 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am Friday 2 – Sky Sports Golf from 7.30am Saturday 3 – Sky Sports Golf from 2.30am Sunday 4 – Sky Sports Golf from 2.30am

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Maybank Championship?

Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £6.99 you can get a day pass, if you just wish to watch one of the rounds, or for just £10.99 you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.

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Player Watch: Li Haotong – The Chinese star won in some style last week in Dubai and will be looking to go back-to-back. He was tied for fifth in this event last season.

Alex Levy – The Frenchman was on good form in the desert with a seventh place in Abu Dhabi and a fourth in Dubai. He was fourth in the 2017 Maybank Championship

Dylan Frittelli – The South African is one of the form players on the European Tour right now. He won in Mauritius before Christmas and was tied sixth on his last start in Dubai. He hasn’t missed a cut on tour since last October.

Key hole: 17th. A relatively short par-4 at just 377 yards, the hole tends to yield a high number of birdies.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?